Q. What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Symptoms of COVID-19 are flu-like and may include fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath. Some people may also experience fatigue, body aches, a runny nose or a sore throat.
Most people develop only mild symptoms. But some people, usually those with other medical complications, may develop more severe symptoms, including pneumonia.
Q: Who is at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19?
People at higher risk include:
- People 60 and older.
- People with underlying health conditions such as heart or lung disease.
- People who have weakened immune systems.
- People who are pregnant.
People at higher risk of severe illness should stay home and away from large groups of people as much as possible. The CDC website has a comprehensive listing of people at higher risk.
Q. What is the difference between a COVID-19 screening and a COVID-19 test?
The purpose of the COVID-19 screening is to detect risk factors for the virus. Screenings are completed by answering a series of questions. Your risk results are given to you immediately.
A screening is not COVID-19 test.
A screening is required before a COVID-19 diagnostic test may occur.
If you have been screened and you have a doctor’s order, you may be eligible to be tested for COVID-19. A COVID-19 test is diagnostic laboratory test that can identify the virus that causes COVID-19. It requires a specimen collection including swabs of your throat, nose and a sample of your saliva. The specimens will be sent to an appropriate testing facility. Results can be delayed several days.
Q. Should I be tested?
Not everyone who feels sick needs to be tested.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, sore throat and shortness of breath. If you have been exposed to someone with confirmed COVID-19 and are experiencing symptoms, you might have COVID-19. Please contact your doctor or call the Spectrum Health COVID-19 hotline 833.559.0659.
For patients who need testing, we offer drive-through testing by appointment only.
Note: Currently, most testing is being reserved for patients who are severely ill and are at a high risk of infecting others. We know it is frustrating to not know for sure if you have the virus. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding that we're unable to test everyone who may have COVID-19 at this time. If you have a mild case, you may be able to treat your symptoms at home. Staying home helps prevent you from exposing other people to the disease.
Q How long should someone with COVID-19 be in home isolation?
The Michigan State Department of Health and Human Services recommends continuing home isolation until:
At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed with no fever (without the use of fever-reducing drugs) and your symptoms have improved.
At least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
You may also discontinue home isolation if you had a laboratory-confirmed positive COVID-19 test and at least 7 days have passed from the diagnosis and you've had no symptoms.
Q. What is Spectrum Health doing to keep patients safe?
The measures Spectrum Health has implemented to increase safety and limit unnecessary exposure are:
- Extra cleaning throughout all facilities and frequent cleaning of high-touch areas while adhering to rigorous quality and safety practices and infection prevention guidelines.
- Providing appropriate PPE for our team members.
- Screening all team members, patients and visitors before they enter the building, and only allowing a very limited number of visitors.
- Temperature checks for all patients and visitors upon entry.
- Requiring everyone to use hand sanitizer and put on a mask upon entry. In hospitals and clinic settings, face masks are required in hallways, common areas and clinical spaces.
- Social distancing floor signage to maintain CDC guidelines.
- Patients who have COVID-19 and need to be admitted to the hospital are isolated with additional precautions.
Q Is it safe to go to an urgent care for something non-COVID 19 related?
Yes, it is safe to go to any of our Emergency Departments and Urgent Care clinics. We are strictly following the CDC guidelines and use thorough cleaning and disinfecting procedures and the proper personal protective equipment to keep patients and staff safe as we attend to all emergent and essential medical needs. To keep everyone safe, you will be asked to sanitize your hands and put on a mask when you arrive. Masks are available onsite for your use.
Q. Why do I need to wear a face covering/mask if I feel fine?
Even though you don’t have any symptoms, you may be a carrier of COVID-19 or even test positive. Masking works two ways: It can help to protect you against potential infection, and it protects others, too. It is an effective method to reduce transmission of COVID-19
Q. Cold, flu or COVID-19?
COVID-19 can present similar symptoms as the flu, but also has some key differences. Learn more at our Flu Information Center.
Q. What do we know about a third dose of the vaccine?
Update as of Aug. 13, 2021: The FDA and CDC are recommending that moderately to severely immunocompromised people receive an additional (third) dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. Studies indicate some immunocompromised people have a reduced immune response following a primary two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series, and a third mRNA vaccine dose may enhance immune response.
Please speak with your healthcare provider to find out whether an additional vaccine dose is appropriate for you, if you have:
- Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
- Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
- Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
- Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
- Advanced or untreated HIV infection
Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response
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